Upgrading a Desktop (Alienware Aurora)


Hi all,

Spotted an Alienware Aurora (unsure which model, maybe somebody could clarify?) online locally for $250CAD. Needs RAM & an OS, but I still think it's a great deal for my needs.

Anyway, I've only ever had one desktop (was custom built by a friend, but I didn't know too much at the time so didn't upgrade anything) and ever since I've had laptops - with their limitations. I've upgraded to SSD & increased RAM, so I'm comfortable doing those.

Looking at purchasing this one (specs below), I only really use my laptop to play one game (Football Manager 2011 FWIW) so I don't need top of the line spec my any means but still, I'd imagine this should be fairly upgradeable moving forward to keep up with my needs?

My question is, what upgrades are possible/suggested from this base spec*? I've read of a lack of PCIE slots, which will obviously limit the possibilities. Not 100% sure though. What would you suggest??

*I'll be upgrading one of the HDDs to SSD, and including maxing RAM (if I understand correctly, the MOBO maxes out at 16GB and I actually have 4x4GB RAM spare currectly), so I'm talking upgradings in addition.

I'm thinking adding USB 3.0 but other than that, I'm at a loss......thoughts?

Anybody able to identify the model version?
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB - 2xDVI, 1 HDMI, 2x MD ports
PSU: Power Supply: Alienware® 750 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
Heatsink: Stock Heatsink (included with CPU)
HDD1: 500GB Western Digital Cavier Blue (7200rpm)
HDD2: 500GB Seagate Barracuda (7200rpm) Needs a SATA cable
RAM: None (4 slots)
Mobo: Asus M4A87T (https://goo .gl/qAjtJM)
BONUS: Avermedia HD Live Gamer Capture Card

6xUSB 2.0
Mic, Headphone Jack
Ethernet Port
VGA, DVI Video Ports


Oct 28, 2014
I'd upgrade the CPU, mobo, and GPU first. Everything else would work fine, but those parts are a little old. Not that they're bad, but if you're going to upgrade anything on top of what you already plan to do, I'd sell the mobo, CPU and GPU, then use that money and whatever else you need to to get parts that are within your budget. I can't really suggest what specific parts to get without knowing how much you'd be willing to spend on those parts, but the best parts you could get for a reasonable price (if you want a good gaming PC) would be the i5 4690k cpu, the asus z97-A ATX, and a gtx 970. They're all very cost effective options if you have a decent budget. If you've got more room in your wallet there are better options, if you don't have that large of a budget, there are decent alternatives.


Dec 17, 2015

I also have an Aurora that's a good 5 or 6 years old that I'd like to upgrade. Your statement above indicates that I will not have to use an Alienware mobo, but can go with any one that will match the case. That's awesome. The 2666 memory and the addition of a SSD as well as a GTX 970 should dramatically improve performance on newer games. As mine sits now, it will not run Star Wars Battlefront. I'd also like to go with a mobo that supports the 1151 processors.
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